The Old Oak


Country: United Kingdom

Director: Ken Loach

Cast: Chris McGlade, Ebla Mari, Dave Turner, Debbie Honeywood

Genre: Drama 

113 minutes: English with English subtitles – 2023

About this Film

Set in a village in the Northeast of England where the mine closed, people feel deserted by the system, and there is growing anger, resentment, and a lack of hope.  Houses are cheap and available thus making it an ideal location for the Syrian refugees that have been accepted by Britain in recent yearsHow will the Syrians be received? And what will be the future for the last remaining pub in the village, The Old Oak?

Legendary filmmaker Ken Loach is known for tackling social issues such as poverty, homelessness and labour rights, all of which contextualise the background of this film. Fresh from competition in Cannes where Loach holds the record for having the most films in competition, including two Palm d’Or wins, The Old Oak, with script written by his long-time collaborator Paul Laverty, may be Loach’s last film – if so, it is a highly fitting swansong! Direct and to the point with no punches pulled, The Old Oak is ultimately, hugely, about compassion and kindness.


The Old Oak is, of course, a timely story about modern Britain, immigration, and xenophobia. It’s also a parting statement from Loach––one last rallying cry for solidarity––and a fitting coda to his six-decade long career.
Siddhant Adlakha, Truthdig

Rather than show you what solidarity looks like, Loach lets you in on what it feels like. The result is one of his most moving films, a presentation of the world not as Loach thinks it should be, but as it might and can become.
Ankit Jhunjhunwala, ScreenAnarchy

I hope that this isn’t Loach’s final film, but if it is, he has concluded with a ringing statement of faith in compassion for the oppressed.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Loach could hardly have delivered a more resonant, timely or indeed angry swansong than this feature which takes up arms against the decay of national compassion.
Jonathan Romney, Screen International

An invitation to a better and optimistic future. 
Mark Asch, Little White Lies